Posts Tagged ‘organic gardening’

Veggie Trader

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Yeah, I realize that social networking is the great revolution of Web 2.0 (coming on the heels of Web 1.0, which brought us online commerce). And yeah, I realize that some web networks can be professionally useful. But, please, the competition to accumulate the most “friends” is something I thought I’d left behind with high school.

Veggie Trader, on the other hand, is an online community I can believe in. When you get to that point in summer when the thought of eating another zucchini quiche whipped up from your backyard squash patch makes you nauseous, you just post a listing on your excess produce and note what you’d like in return, then wait for a response. You can also browse by zip code to see what’s available in your area.

Of course you can also donate the extra harvest to local food banks through programs like Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Full Employment for Gardeners

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

So, how long do you think it’ll take for many of the American households growing their first food garden this year to decide a) it’s a lot more work than they bargained for, b) they’re losing the battle with cutworms and weevils, and c) they need help? Former NPR correspondent Ketzel Levine and other laid off garden scribes may want to steal a page (and a business plan) from the two women in Portland who launched Your Backyard Farmer, a sort of urban CSA, to transform small city lots strewn with last year’s toys, overgrown flower beds, and compacted grass into productive miniature farms.

After conferring with prospective clients about their needs and favorite veggies (there’s even a downloadable pdf on Your Backyard Farmer’s website with a list of edibles for families to choose from), the two build raised beds and healthy soil, plant, and make weekly trips to tend and harvest. Every week, clients come home to find a basket of freshly picked, organically grown produce waiting at their back door.

As CSAs go, the service isn’t cheap—planting and tending a garden capable of producing enough produce for a family of three reportedly cost $1,575 last year—but those wishing to economize can opt instead for hands-on lessons on running a backyard farm for about $100 a month.